i am sitting in my kitchen eating Jesus' birthday cake which is three days old and probably the best cake ive ever had. cake and milk is still a good snack, even when youre not six.
and on that note, im officially convinced that i grew up too fast. the girl who was named "most likely to never grow up," i am always, always, a contradiction. a cigar-smokin (well, once) bible readin spaghettios eatin 21 year old bride, who has never made any sense. i think ive found my identity in this. this, and the many years ive spent building all of this up.
living, and being quite reckless with other peoples hearts, while carefully guarding my own. sometimes i feel cheated by my choices, because i dont have stories of late night clubbing or drunken bar hopping. i dont own stilletos and ive never smoked a cigarette or tasted whiskey.
the closest memories i have resembling all of that are made up of running through war-torn spanish cities late at night in my underwear with people whos names i dont remember, walking five miles barefoot to see the eiffel tower, sleeping in airports and traveling the australian coast with one of the kindest strangers ive ever known. ive had my motives questions and have spent many a night explaining to people why my choices are not the most ridiculous and naive thing theyve ever heard. ive lied and prayed my way out of situations that had no way out. one time, i didnt shower for more than a week. i lived on a whim, and prayed that i wasnt killing myself in the process, experiencing in two years what takes most people late into their twenties to accomplish.
and then he showed up.
the man who would one day tame my wild heart, the person who i sometimes resentfully, but mostly affectionately, refer to as my anchor. the one who loved me without knowing me, but had a burning question on his heart, "is this what life with you is like?"
and how do you respond to that, knowing that he is the greatest gift that God has given you in this life, but wanting him to know all of you, to know what he was getting himself into?
"this is what life with me is like right now. im all over the place. but when im 25 ill have a steady job and a family. and when im 45 ill enjoy baking and traveling all over the world with you, or not, its your call. and when im 75 you and i will sit on rocking chairs on our porch and talk about the sky or the weather and the wonderful things that weve experienced together. but for now? this is what life with me is like."
and now, it is more like being 23 and staying at home studying the IEP process in special education with the faint sounds of my husbands voice echoing from his recording studio, trying to get from 20 to 25, wondering whether this transition is even possible... but it has to be, because people somehow make it through this awkward place of being a kid and being a wife.
i was standing in line at a store the other day when a middle-aged hispanic man standing behind me in a cowboy hat tried to stike up a conversation about second-hand furniture and politicians from illinois. i brought up my political science major husband, and was quickly interrupted by the statement that i've heard at least 342342374982375 times,
"YOURE MARRIED??? but youre so young!"
"How old are you? I can tell you your future right now." (smirk, smirk)
being married is, by far, the hardest thing i've ever done, it has stretched me and made me feel like im in over my head many times, i've decided over and over again that i grew up too fast and i am unprepared for all of this. married women envy single women and single women envy marrried women, and i am 23 and dont even consider myself a woman yet and i envy everyone, including myself, which should be added to my list of resolutions.
but as long as im unprepared and in over my head and growing up too fast with him, ill be okay. because what ive discovered in the last few weeks is that nobody has any idea how to do this, this human thing, and even fewer people know how to be under thirty and married (or under 120 and married), so ive realized ive either got to own it or abandon it, and abandon is not an option.